Google insists Stadia is "alive and well," despite evidence suggesting otherwise

midian182

Posts: 6,786   +61
Staff member
A hot potato: Remember when Google introduced Stadia back in 2019, and there was talk of this revolutionary service making gaming PCs and consoles obsolete? Things haven't exactly turned out that way. But a company executive insists Stadia is far from struggling. In fact, it's "alive and well."

There was plenty of hype surrounding Stadia when it arrived. Google claimed that its product, more powerful than the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro combined, would finally be the game streaming service that consumers would opt for over a PC or console. Google VP Madj Bakar said Stadia could be more responsive than a PC in two years. It's not, obviously.

Stadia launched to mixed reviews and faced criticism over its failure to offer true or, in some cases, any 4K performance, which led to a lawsuit. It also had to deal with overheating Chromecast Ultra dongles, a lack of updates, and plenty of other issues, resulting in some devs complaining that Google overpromised with Stadia. But the biggest hit came in February when Google closed down its first-party Stadia game studio, and things appeared even bleaker when product head John Justice left the company earlier this month.

Given everything that's happened, Stadia's future is looking far from rosy, but developer marketing lead Nate Ahearn believes otherwise. "We're well on our way to over 100 new games launching on Stadia in 2021, and we're continuing to make Stadia a great place to play games on devices you already own," he told Gamesindustry.biz.

"I'd tell any non-believers to take notice of how we're continuing to put our words into action, as we grow the Stadia Makers program and partner with AAA studios like Capcom, EA, Square Enix, Ubisoft and others."

What's interesting is that Google has never revealed how many people use Stadia. When it closed the game studio earlier this year, unnamed sources claimed there were "hundreds of thousands" fewer controllers sold and "monthly active users" logging on than Google had expected.

Game streaming services have been around for years without threatening traditional platforms. Google still believes that Stadia needs more time before the technology and audience size make it a viable option. But despite a global chip shortage that should be pushing hardware-starved gamers to Stadia, it remains the niche alternative—even Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney thinks it's struggling.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,894   +5,440
They totally dropped the ball on Stadia.

I would have marketed it as a YouTube Gamer Channel starter and made “Stadia” a YouTube marque.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 913   +1,310
The longer Stadia shambles on the way it does, the bigger a laughingstock cloud gaming becomes. Thanks, Stadia! Not since OnLive has PC gaming had a better foil.
 

ManosTS

Posts: 6   +10
Stadia is anti-consumerism and feels like trash for a number of reasons. Also always-online services (or Games as a service as companies call it) puts off a lot of people. The games you buy from streaming services will never belong to you.

Personally I am not wasting my money for something that is locked behind servers and needs a constant online connection even for playing single player games
 
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Dimitriid

Posts: 542   +934
I'm worried that the Google person here was going to pass out from lying so damn much: We all know you're cancelling Stadia inside 24 months, stop scamming people.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,458   +4,028
Cloud gaming isn't ready and isn't going to BE ready until we have end-to-end fiber.
 

brucek

Posts: 803   +1,104
TechSpot Elite
If Stadia can't find a foothold now while gamers are struggling to purchase any GPU at all, or current consoles either, then I'm not sure it has any better times ahead of it.
 

Lounds

Posts: 814   +723
Geforce now seems better value as you can use libraries from different platforms such as steam.
 

OortCloud

Posts: 594   +454
Another Google shambles. They hit lucky with a search engine and spent the next 30 years spending their (very ill-gotten made from selling all your search history) gains trying to make lightning in a bottle again. They only need to succeed once a decade (eg Android) to continue growing larger and larger and less and less ethical.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,490   +1,088
This is more of a Google failure than a technology failure. Game streaming is definitely the future and don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. But clearly Google won’t own it.
 

Nick D

Posts: 32   +10
They should have put a lot of people on this full time right as the crypto boom started. Gpus were gone since 2020, a gaming platform that didnt require a good pc would have been very successful. Unfortunately I think they laid low since 2019.
 

jpuroila

Posts: 332   +183
Even if cloud gaming were to explode in popularity, Google managed to screw up the brand bad enough that Stadia will never match the popularity of Nvidia's, Sony's or Microsoft's platforms.
 

OortCloud

Posts: 594   +454
The more bad news about Stadia the better for me.
Whilst all the big players in this field are fairly dodgy when it comes to scraping you for personal information, none of the others are in the same league as Google.
I really don't want them to be a big player in the games market too and finding a million ways to 'monetize' all your gaming activities.
Targeted ads on in-game assets anyone?
DLC and similar games offered to you through Google AdWords?
Further improvements to their already terrifying user profiling based on the games you play, when and where you play them?
It's why they want in.